Most industries are going through a period of uncertainty and turbulence as the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to complicate the return to normal operations. One of the worst affected sectors is retail, which is facing a massive employee shortage.
Retail companies need to think outside the box if they want to attract candidates and retain their existing employees going into the busy holiday season. So, what can be done to turn things around? We’ve rounded up the most effective and easy-to-implement approaches that Canadian retail businesses can adopt at their organization to address the 2021 labour shortage. Keep on reading to learn more.
Why is there a labour shortage in the retail sector?
Employee turnover in the retail sector is a result of several different factors that have come together to cause the perfect storm. Candidates are likely still unsure whether returning to work is completely safe and parents lack affordable childcare options, meaning that many workers are unable to rejoin the workforce despite actively looking for employment.
These factors are just the tip of the iceberg. Employers are in stiff competition for top-quality candidates, so applicants are often receiving multiple attractive offers at the same time. Employers are even going as far as to raise wages to hold on to employees and attract new candidates! Businesses that fail to increase wages and offer hiring bonuses are likely to miss out on new hires while also losing their current employees to better employment offers elsewhere.
Best strategies for minimizing employee turnover rate
If you’re serious about retaining talent and overcoming the challenges of the labour shortage, then you need to know what approaches work best. After taking a look at what Adecco partners and other leading retail companies are doing to stay ahead of their competitors and reduce attrition rates, here are our top 5 strategies that you should be putting into practice.
Provide incentives for your employees’ hard work
Rewarding your employees for their hard work is an effective way of retaining them. This can be done with cash bonuses for good performance or with employee recognition programs that shine a light on those that go the extra mile at work.
Walmart has been implementing a financial wellness program for hard-working employees for several years, and it’s been praised as an innovative way to provide impactful benefits and rewards to retail workers. No wonder other corporations have followed suit with similar initiatives!
Focus on training and development
Employees value training and development opportunities more than ever before, so making sure you help your workers grow should be an important aspect of your retention efforts. Not only do employees benefit from new skills and career advancement opportunities, but they’ll be more inclined to stay in your organization as they move up the ranks and continually reach new professional goals.
Job training and development programs also benefit your organization as employees are better equipped to handle challenges and are more likely to deliver excellent performance. Reskilling is also an excellent way of future-proofing your business for years to come. These are all benefits that any retail business could do with in 2021!
Get feedback from employees
Keeping your finger on your organization’s pulse should be a priority, especially if you operate in the retail sector. Do this by making it easier for employees to tell you when things aren’t right. Regular employee surveys are a good place to start, as these are relatively low-effort and allow workers to provide anonymous feedback on issues that are important to them.
If you want to drastically reduce employee turnover, consider using exit interviews to find out why your employees are quitting. A one on one meeting will help you keep track of areas of improvement and identify whether employees are opting for more attractive opportunities in competing organizations.
Create a healthy working environment
Employee health and safety is a fundamental part of any retail business, but in 2021, this also includes mental health and wellbeing. Workers all over Canada have had a hard time with the pandemic, and drastic changes in their work routines and the risk of infection have taken a toll on their emotional wellbeing. By ensuring your employees have mental health support, are taking regular breaks, and are happy with their job, you’ll show them how they’re an important part of your company’s community and workforce.
If your retail employees are worried about COVID-19, then following strict government safety measures shows that you care for their safety and that of their families. Providing your workers with adequate PPE equipment makes your business safer for you, your customers and your employees – which in turn further reduces the likelihood of suffering from high turnover during the ongoing pandemic.
Develop your employer brand
All businesses should be developing a strong employer brand in a post-pandemic economy. Employer branding solidifies your positive reputation among existing employees, which converts them into ambassadors of your organizations. Your retention efforts become much more effective as a result, and employee turnover can drop significantly if your branding is carried out correctly. This even makes it easier and cheaper for you to find and hire new employees in highly competitive sectors like retail. While this might sound like some kind of miracle cure to your staffing problems, employee branding requires effort and a genuine commitment to making your workers’ experiences better and more beneficial to everyone involved.
If you want to reduce employee turnover in your retail business, Adecco Canada can help. We’re experts in all things staffing, and we’ve transformed the way leading companies work. That’s why organizations all over Canada trust us to guide them through the staffing shortage. For more information, reach out to the Adecco team here!